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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Guest Blog & Contest with Kelly Meding

My first author guest of 2010 is Kelly Meding. Her debut book 'Three Days To Dead' is definitely on my list of highly recommended reads from 2009. I am looking forward to her next release and her future contribution to the Paranormal Urban Fantasy genre.

Kelly was nice enough to send me a guest post to start of the year. Her post talks about her non Paranormal Urban Fantasy reads. So enjoy the post and make sure you enter the contest at the end. I am looking forward, as always, to reading your entries ;)



-------------------------

With 2009 behind me and 2010 looming brightly on the horizon, I took a look back at the things I read this year. I had set a goal for myself a year ago—read 100 novels/novellas in 2009. Thanks to the sage advice of my crit partner (who informed me that yes, my own books counted and so did the book I beta-read for her), I ended 2009 with 103 novels/novellas read. I'm very excited about this number, considering I also managed to write quite a bit, shepherd my debut novel through its release, and still work a part-time day job.

Reading is essential for a writer; reading widely even more so. With that in mind, I made a conscious effort this past year to expand my reading habits into other genres. The bulk of my reading these last few years was in urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Okay, so almost all of it. Branching out became very necessary, and I am so glad I did. I dabbled into historical romance for the first time, read a couple of biographies, and read YA for the first time in a long time. And many of these books were very, very good.

So here are my top 5 Non-UF/PNR Reads for 2009, in no particular order.

GOING TOO FAR, by Jennifer Echols. (YA) This is a contemporary YA about a troubled teenage girl and the unlikely (and unwanted) friendship she develops with a young police officer. The protagonist is sassy and snarky, without being unbearable, and I just wanted to take the hero home and cuddle him. This is a book that I thought about for days afterward. The characters were realistic and their problems not glossed over.

NEVER LET ME GO, by Kazuo Ishiguro. (Literary) Literary fantasy is the best I can do to describe this lovely and haunting tale of a very unusual boarding school. I saw a good review posted online and discovered it was being made into a movie, so I grabbed a copy. I couldn't put it down. From the lovely prose to the "what the hell is going on?" mystery, to the incredible use of flashbacks, it's a book I'm very glad to have read.

LUCKY, by Alice Sebold. (Memoir) To be fair, I started reading this in the summer of 2008. I don't know why I put it down for over a year, but I did. I suppose it was Sebold's frank and vivid depiction of her rape and its aftermath—she spared nothing and in retrospect, I'm grateful for that. I finally picked it up again in August '09 and read the last 2/3 in about a day. It's a rare book that makes me sob, but this one did. It was a good kind of sobbing, and I'm grateful Sebold had the strength to share such a heart-wrenching part of her life.

ONE WEEK AS LOVERS, by Victoria Dahl. (Historical Romance) It wasn't the first HR I read, but of the half-dozen so far, it's by and large my favorite. I like Alpha heroes, but I truly adore the Beta hero of this book and his interactions with the heroine. The story didn't get bogged down in lengthy descriptions of places or customs or how things were done "back then." Dahl tells a simple, exquisite tale of two childhood friends whose circumstances throw them together and the love that develops between them.

REGULARLY SCHEDULED LIFE, by K.A. Mitchell. (M/M) I stumbled onto Mitchell's work after reading a review for one of her other e-books, and the description of this one caught my eye. It's about the aftermath of a school shooting that leaves a student and the principal dead, and one heroic teacher wounded—a d a local hero for trying to stop the shooter. The twist—the wounded teacher, Sean, is gay, which thrusts him deeper into the media spotlight and makes the entire shooting about more than just school violence. Sean is also in a committed, six-year relationship with Kyle, and it's this relationship that's tested throughout the novel—by the media, by bigotry and hatred, and by his and Kyle's own methods of dealing with Sean's injury. Or not dealing with it. This tastefully and emotionally written tear-jerker made me an instant fan of Ms. Mitchell.

So that's my list. It was a great year for discovering new authors and new genres, and I can't wait to discover even more in 2010.


--------------------

Contest Time!

A huge thank you to Kelly who said she will send the winner of this weeks contest a signed copy of "Three Days to Dead" as well as a pair of fun book-related buttons!

All you have to do to enter is tell us about some of your favourite Non-UF/PNR Reads in 2009

No favourite = No entry!

Earn another entry for each place you link this contest on the net. You can post of Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!

You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Keep the contests going by using the Amazon links below and around the site!





The contest will stay open until Sunday 10th of January 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.

Good Luck!

73 comments:

Stacy Stew said...

My favorite read in 2009 was all of the Highlander books by Karen Marie Moning. I know that they were old releases, but they were new to me.

YA Vampire Books said...

My favourite read in 2009 was definitely Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles!

Tanya said...

One of my favorite reads is a Fictional novel The Shadow in Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafron ..this is an amazing read and has been on the top booksellers list for year, the 2nd follow up to this novel is
The Angels Game "Can't wait to read this book"

INCiDeNT said...

Favourite non-UF/PNR reads in 2009 were Bethany's Sin by Robert R. McCammon. A really old book, but one that I discovered recently. Also Lucy's Child by Shaun Hutson. Moon by James Herbert too. :)

+ 1: Tweeted: http://twitter.com/INCiDeNT_Zinc/status/7347537878

+ 1: I linked via sidebar: http://heavenhelldomain21.blogspot.com/

cait045 said...

I really loved Fire by Kristen Cashore, The Cassandra Palmer by Karen Chance, and Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh.

jacabur1 said...

Amber am NOT wanting to enter contest.
Just wanted to say that this debut novel by Kelly was my favorite read of 2009 and am really looking forward to her next release as well. She seems like such a nice lady in all the interviews she has done and really think after reading Three Days To Dead she will be writing us all good books for quite some time to come....

Jackie B Central Texas

shaunesay said...

I started reading Elaine Viets' Mystery Shopper series this year, it's a fun series, with #5 just released. I'll use that as my favorite Non-UF/PNR reads for the year! I would label them in the cozy mystery genre. She was even so nice as to comment on my blog a couple of times, a real thrill for someone who isn't used to that kind of contact! :D

Please enter me, I'm very interested in Three Days to Dead! Thanks for visiting Kelly!

van_pham said...

I really enjoyed reading Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares novels...it was fun and different :)

justpeachy36 said...

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

One of my favorite reads of the year, was Ain't She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillps.... Paranormal, Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclaire...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

SiNn said...

well amber its hard really theres so many to chose from my fav paranormal read well reads were mark henrys Happy hour of the damned and Jaye wells Redheaded stepchild

nonparanormal


Kerri Nelsons Miss Taken
and Sandy Sulivans Texas Lady

mariska said...

My favorites will be :

- Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell

- The House on Tradd Strett by Karen White

please count me in !

wanda flanagan said...

what a lady wants ,twice the temptation,bad girls dont

Ladytink_534 said...

I loved Mary Kay Andrews' Deep Dish and Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong

Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

Blodeuedd said...

That would be The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I never knew YA could be that good.

booklover0226 said...

My favorite non-UF/PNR reads for 2009 were The Briar King and The Charnel Prince by Greg Keyes. They are the first two books of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series.

Thanks,
Tracey D

Sarah said...

I think the non-paranormal books I enjoyed most last year were probably the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beleth said...

My non PNR reading this year was Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran.
I also tweeted here: http://twitter.com/beleth22/status/7369310719

Thanks!

battyaboutbats at gmail.com

Sue Brandes said...

Favorite reads were The Great Scott by Donna Kauffman & Dewey The Small Town Library Cat by Vici Myron. There were so many good books it's hard to choose.

rem said...

My favorite non-UF/PNR reads for 2009 were the Dark series by Christine Feehan

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/rem_pdg/status/7370076290

rem_pdg(at)yahoo(dot)es

Spav said...

My favourite 2009 Non PNR or UF novel was Open by Andre Agassi.

Tweet: http://twitter.com/Sparima/status/7370407651

CrystalGB said...

I loved Maya Banks' Silhouette Desire trilogy. Especially The Tycoon's Rebel Bride.

Karen said...

Going to Far is on my list of favorites too. Great book!
My favorite book of 2009 was Willow by Julia Hoban. Also liked Butterfly tattoo by Deidra Knight.... Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl was fantastic too.

Karen

Blogged @ contest here:http://forwhatitsworth-kea.blogspot.com/

SandyG265 said...

My favorite Non-UF/paranormal read in 2009 was Dark Tiger by William Tapply

Annette said...

I loved the Nauti series by Lora Leigh.

Rosie said...

I'm loving the Mary Balogh series that started with First Comes Marriage.

jazmin67 said...

this looks like a great book, would love to read it.

jeanette8042 said...

One of my favorites was Maya Bank's seduction series.

angel28140 said...

I love the Riley Jensen Guardian series, so her newest were great reads, and also I picked up all the Sookie Stackhouse books last year. They were wonderful

Pamk said...

I love Maya Banks Sweet Series and anything by Lauren Dane. I posted about this on my sidebar on my blog.
www.bookcrazyscrapbookmama.blogspot.com

Linda Henderson said...

Some of my favorite reads for 2009 are Summer Of Two Wishes by Julia London, Vision In White by Nora Roberts and Lucky Streak by Carly Phillips.

Cynthya said...

Some of my favorite non UF/PNR reads in 2009 were:

A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James

This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

The Duke Next Door by Celeste Bradley

Vexing the Viscount by Emily Bryan

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran (best historical I read in 2009)

I do read other genres besides romance, I just happened to have a list of the romances I'd read so this was easiest.

SusiSunshine said...

One of my absolute favorites in 2009 was Laid Bare by Lauren Dane. Can't say enough how much I love it and can't wait for Coming Undone, book 2 in that series to arrive here.

clynsg said...

Hard to pick just one, and several of the ones I enjoyed were straight SF or alternate history and I know some people equate them to PNR. Another genre I enjoy is Regency/historical romance and in that group, I just finished Wicked Widow by Quick, and it was an enjoyable read.

clynsg at yahoo.com

littlelatina said...

looks pretty cool. I liked the Piano Teacher this year but my fave is Louisa May Alcott

Carol EL said...

My favorite read in 2009 was Spooner by Pete Dexter. jelly15301@gmail.com

Deedles said...

One of my favorites was Black Hills by Nora Roberts.

409cope said...

I would have to say that The Sookie Stackhouse series was my favorite. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jenndiggy said...

Time and Eternity by Susan Squires

Sheere said...

I loved In a heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth.

Count me in please!

Patricia Altner said...

Favorites NonUF/Paranormal

Buried Deep by Kritine Katheryn Rusch

The Hidden Worlds trilogy by Kristin Landon.

Kelly, thanks for the excellent recommendations!

Vickie said...

My favorite non-UF read was, in no particular order:
~GARDEN SPELLS - Sarah Addison Allen
~GHOST ROAD BLUES - Jonathan Maberry
~GRAVEDIGGERS WANTED: NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY - Jeff Strand
~MONEY SHOT - Christa Faust
~THEM BONES - Carolyn Haines

heather said...

My fav in 2009 was Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I saw the movie and read the book.

my e-mail: heatwave96@hotmail.com

posted at facebook - http://www.facebook.com/hcreely?ref=profile

twitter - http://twitter.com/Heatwave316/status/7425786105

Llehn said...

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher were two books I simply couldn't put down.

Dot S. said...

My fave non-UF/PNR for 2009 was AGNES AND THE HITMAN by Crusie and Mayer

throuthehaze said...

My favorite non-UF/PNR reads for 2009 were the Fablehaven series

Dawn M. said...

My favorite non-UF/PNR reads (in no particular order) were:

Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles
Lily Dale series - Wendy Corsi Staub
The House of Scorpion - Nancy Farmer
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind - Phillip Done
Life As We Knew It - Beth Pfeffer
The Dead & The Gone - Beth Pfeffer

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I saw a couple books I need to read from this list now so thanks!!!

I read a lot of books that weren't PF or UF, so let's see...

Willow by Julia Hoban
Ballads of Suburbia by Stephenie Kuehnert

were my top two. The first is YA and the other is YA I suppose but they put it in adult too so it's crossover.

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Bunny B said...

I loved reading The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

Roxy said...

My favorite Non UF was probably The Name of the Wind. It's fantasy but it was soooooo good!

deb c said...

My favorite book I read this year was The Help and also, Water for Elephants.

erma said...

I liked Paranormal, Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclaire.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

Periwinklegirl4 said...

My favorite read in 2009 are the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series. I can't get enough of those.

periwinklegirl04(at)yahoo(dot)com

Periwinklegirl4 said...

I am happy to tweet your contest
http://twitter.com/periwinklegirl4/statuses/7559689029

periwinklegirl04(at)yahoo(dot)com

joey said...

I discovered Lora Leigh's SEALs & EliteOps series and they were great! Thanks for the chance for a free read and for a great posting!

jo

charlestonchew said...

My favorite read was Crime and punishment.

Marie said...

I just loved Fire by Kristen Cashore!

marielay@gmail.com

saturdaynightfever said...

I enjoyed Elizabeth Strout's "Olive Kitteridge!

edgenemmers@gmail.com

Cathy M said...

One of my favorites was Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens, the first in a new historical romance series.



caity_mack(at)yahoo(dot)com

ellie said...

My favorite reads of 2009 was the Cody McFadyen series of mystery/thrillers. I sped right through them.

eswright18 at gmail dot com

Tooyfel said...

My favorite read was: De brief voor de koning by Tonke Dragt

lilyk said...

I enjoyed How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

demmi said...

my favorite read for 2009 was The Road
con5459(a)gmail(dot)com

purango said...

My favorite read in 2009 was Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong. garrettsambo@aol.com

Maja said...

the hunger games book that i won

startrek said...

Fire by Christine Cashore was my
favorite book to read in 2009.
joan ferris
jnferris@aol.com

Gianna said...

The Time Machine Did It by John Swartzwelder.

missrantsypants said...

My favorite read..probably Dear John.


clarkmurdock@yahoo.com

LiLi said...

My favorite read had to be The Kindling of GreenFyr by Mark Freeman, was shocked at how captivating it was!

DEBIJOT said...

My favorite read in 2009 was The Way Home by George Pelecanos

rbailey1958 said...

I liked The Big Book Of Pennsylvania Ghost Stories by Mark Nesbitt & Patty A Wilson
pkbailey@charter.net

2002icequeen said...

I read the entire set of Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth series this year. Wish the TV series would follow a little closer to the story line, but it's still worth watching.

Also read books 1-4 of the Carrie Vaughn Kitty series and love the story line she's following.

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